Identifying children with persistent low math achievement: The role of number-magnitude mapping and symbolic numerical processing

Terry Tin-Yau WONG, Wai Lan Winnie CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although an increasing number of research studies have investigated the cognitive deficits related to difficulties in learning mathematics, little is known about whether these cognitive deficits longitudinally predict low mathematics achievement over time. The current 6-year longitudinal study was conducted to address this issue. A sample of 101 students was tested on various numerical and cognitive competencies when they were in kindergarten and in Grade 1. They were then followed until they were in Grade 6, and their mathematics achievement was assessed bi-annually. A group of persistent low mathematics achievers (PLA) who scored consistently below the 25th percentile was identified. This group of PLA showed difficulties in most of the numerical tasks as early as kindergarten. More importantly, three of the early predictors correctly identified 79% of the PLAs. The current findings provide valuable information concerning the core cognitive deficits underlying difficulties in learning mathematics as well as an important tool for educators for identifying children who are at risk of persistent math learning difficulties in the elementary school years. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume60
Early online dateNov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Citation

Wong, T. T.-Y., & Chan, W. W. L. (2019). Identifying children with persistent low math achievement: The role of number-magnitude mapping and symbolic numerical processing. Learning and Instruction, 60, 29-40. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2018.11.006

Keywords

  • Dyscalculia
  • Mathematics learning disabilities
  • Numerical magnitude
  • Longitudinal predictors

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